– Ultra Prism
March 16, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Can you imagine having to do something so many times in order to get something? Like just imagine doing anything 108 times. Doing anything takes a little bit of time, but doing it 108 times? I imagine most of us would get tired of it after a while. Like playing a Pokemon game 108 times! It’s doable, but maaaaaaan, that’s a lotta time. Could practically speedrun the game at that point.
Spiritomb is a Basic Psychic Pokemon, 70 HP, with no Weakness or Resistance and a Retreat Cost of 1. Both attacks cost 1 Energy, and you can use any kind of Energy for it, making Spiritomb pretty versatile. Lightless World lets you add 2 Supporters from your discard pile into your hand, while Terrify stops the opponent’s Pokemon from attacking if it’s a Basic Pokemon.
Probably the best part about him is that he can bring back 2 Supporters to your hand that you’ve already used, and that’s about it. He doesn’t have any offensive capabilities, which means after he attacks…he’s extremely vulnerable 70 HP is not that much, in the grand scheme of things, so if your opponent lets him stick around for longer than a turn, they’re asking to get hurt. On the plus side, you do have your next 2 Supporters for the next 2 turns or so, ideally getting back something like Cynthia for draw power or maybe Kukui for damage buffs or Guzma to switch things up on your opponent. Whatever it is, getting 2 Supporters you’ve already used can be very very good.
…or ineffectual, depending on how the game’s going.
Terrify won’t do much, considering we’ve got enough Evolutions and Switch-effects that can work around it, so Spiritomb is best as a one-off Supporter recovery that’s better than Pal Pad by putting the cards in your hand…while also losing your attack for the turn and possibly giving your opponent a Prize. There’s a niche for him in that regard.
Standard: 2.5/5 (great to recover Supporters, but opens up a lot of risk)
Expanded: 3/5 (combos well with Battle Compressor, and we’ve got even better Supporters in this format, so the risk is more worthwhile here)
Limited: 3/5 (and this just depends on what you get from your packs)
Arora Notealus: Spiritomb from a design perspective is one of the most fascinating Pokemon out there – the whole theme of him is based around a combination of the Jibakurei, a spirit bound to a single place like the Keystone Spiritomb is bound to, and the Buddhist tradition of ringing a bell 108 times to chase away the temptations so that you can reach Nirvana. 108 is a big number for Spiritomb too, being the Route it’s found in in ORAS, its weight in kg, the number of spirits that form it, its Def and Sp Def values, and even its Pokedex number for the Sinnoh Regional Pokedex!
…why it takes 32 people to talk to in order to unlock it from the Hallowed Tower though is beyond me.
Side Reviews: Houndoom – normally, this is the part where in the side review, I either talk about the Pokemon’s impact on the game thus far…which I don’t Houndoom has done, or I bring up something that relates the card to the card we’re reviewing today. The only thing I can think of is that Houndoom can use its Puncturing Fangs to one-shot a Spiritomb, but they both have really neat inspirations to draw from, and they’re both Dark Pokemon in the games. Could Spiritomb work in combination with Houndoom? Maybe, but it’s not likely.
Weekend Thought: What kinds of crazy combinations can you come up with for this week’s cards? Would you run the Oranguru-Looker-Looker’s Whistle combination? Does Spiritomb and Houndoom together sound like a deck idea that works? Is Skuntank a secret weapon in a Dark deck somewhere? Who knows? What’re your thoughts on these, and how can you use this week’s cards to improve your own deck?
When looking at Spiritomb from Ultra Prism, it carries two attacks that can be considered as a utility mon and a disruptive mon. Both attacks costs one Colorless Energy apiece, allowing to fit in any deck. Lightless World puts two Supporter cards from your discard pile into your hand. Terrify does 10 damage and prevents your opponent’s Defending Pokemon who is a Basic Pokemon from attacking.
Lightless world reminds me of Sableye from BW Dark Explorers. Junk Hunt fetches two item cards from the discard into your hand. And these items can be spammed numerous times and you can still play a Supporter card. With Spiritomb, you can’t spam these cards because you can only use one Supporter card per turn. Getting your supporters back is nice, but when you used up your attack, it leaves wide open for your opponent to shuffle your hand just after you got these cards. Still, when your opponent doesn’t disrupt your hand, then those supporters can come in handy. Guzma, Acerola, and other draw supporters? Count me in!
When it comes to disruption, I don’t think the attack Terrify have what it takes to infuriate your opponent. You could argue that it’s better than Jolteon-EX’s Flash Ray because not only you prevent damage to your Pokemon, but they can’t attack either, even if the attack is meant to support the player. However, switching out resets the effects while Flash Ray blocks damage from Basic Pokemon no matter which one is sent out. So between the two attacks, I call it pretty even.
Spiritomb (UP 53) ululates into the meta from the Ultra Prism expansion set. This Basic Psychic Pokemon has two Colorless, single energy attacks. Lightless World does no damage but allows you to pull two Supporter cards from your discard pile and put them into your hand. Terrify does ten damage and prevents the opponent’s Pokemon from attacking during the next turn – if it is a Basic Pokemon.
I tried Spiritomb in a stall deck with Hoopa (SLG 55) and Mew (EVO 53). It worked well at first, I went 4 W 1 L… but then came crashing down to Earth with six straight losses. I’ve tried this kind of variable wall deck before but haven’t had much success, and this was pretty much more of the same. In theorymon, using all of these different Pokemon to wall your opponents should be a good idea; in reality… yeah … not so much.
What actually caught my eye was when one of my opponents was using it a couple weeks ago and proceeded to promote Spiritomb, pull two Guzmas out of their discard, and easily pick off two Pokemon on my bench to win the game. The advantage of using Lightless World is that you can use it any time you can promote it into the active. This means that you are most likely never going to brick. You could use it to get Team Flare Grunt or Acerola or, like my very smart opponent, Guzma. Granted Spiritomb will probably get OHKO’d, but if you’re able to get the right Supporters, sacrificing Spiritomb could easily help secure the match for you.
Standard: 3.5 out of 5
With the propensity of Basic attackers out there combined with the utilitarianism of being able to get two Supporters out of the discard, Spiritomb makes for a potentially very valuable Pokemon that I think we all have overlooked. I even forgot to tech it into my Necrozma / Mew / Oranguru / Looker deck (which BTW I am now 15 W 1 L with)… I’ll have to find a slot for it!
Spiritomb (SM – Ultra Prism 53/156) is a Basic [P] Pokémon with 70 HP, no Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C] and two attacks, both of which cost [C]. The first is “Lightless World”, and it lets you add two Supporters from your discard pile to your hand; the second is “Terrify” and it does 10 damage, and if the Defending Pokémon is a Basic Pokémon, it can’t attack next turn. [P] Typing mostly matters for access to Dimension Valley in Expanded Format play, but there is a chance it might matter due to Weakness or Resistance. Being a Basic makes it fast and space-efficient. 70 HP is usually a OHKO, but at least it isn’t so fragile that even bonus Bench hits score a OHKO or 2HKO (at least, most of the time). No Weakness is the best Weakness while no Resistance is the worst Resistance; on a larger Pokémon, the former would be pretty awesome. The Retreat Cost isn’t perfect, but most of the time, it is easy to pay. Getting two Supporters back is great, but less so when you have to give up an attack (and probably a Prize) in order to do it. The same goes for locking down an opponent’s Basic; dealing with the effect of Terrify is possible for most decks, but some are quite vulnerable while others will rarely care. At least they are inexpensive and work with just about any Energy, and in Expanded Dimension Valley lets you use them for free!
I’m familiar with this card due to the Theme Format of the PTCGO, where only Theme Decks (really, Starter Decks) may be used against each other. Here, it is a good opener; your opponent probably cannot deal with the effect of Terrify, and if you get at least one Supporter, being able to reuse it is usually quite strong. If your opponent quickly Evolves and you don’t get any Supporters, Spiritomb is just a body to toss up front while (hopefully) building something up on your Bench. That isn’t your only chance to use it, though; it can be worth sending up mid or late game to reclaim Supporters and/or frustrate an opponent that needs to attack with a Basic. As the Theme Deck containing Spiritomb is the “Mach Strike” deck, which contains Garchom (SM – Ultra Prism 99/156) and Cynthia, you’ve got a decent chance of it being more important than it normally would be in this Format. Nearly all of what I’ve just said applies to the Theme Format, but with the finer points tweaked, such as Lightless World being much more difficult to use (but potentially much more potent), and Terrify being that much stronger… until the point in the match where it’s not.
I’m not seeing much use for this card in the Standard or Expanded Formats. Yes, getting two Supporters back from your discard pile is great, but you’re giving up an attack to do it. Yes, pecking away at a Basic while keeping it from attacking back is also great. THE PROBLEM is that you’re giving up a Prize, an attack and probably an Energy card plus Energy attachment in order to gain either of these AND your opponent has the chance to mess it all up for you. Whatever Supporters you snag with Lightless World, your opponent has a chance to mitigate its benefits; Delinquent, N, Red Card, Torment Spray, or simply changing the field enough that a formerly good choice is now a bad one. This is one of the issues of reclaiming such a card with an attack; you’re telegraphing your intent to your opponent. Sure, a savvy player may be able to use this to mislead, but remember the effort involved; a lot of decks can’t afford it. As for walling against Basic Pokémon, remember that Terrify is a soft lock because it is so easy to break free; you’ll need to pile on additional disruption and then have decent luck for it to hold. Expanded has Puzzle of Time, VS Seeker and Sableye (BW – Dark Explorers 62/108), who will usually do the job better in a dedicated lock deck. Still, this isn’t a bad card and has potential.
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